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Bleed the Sky - "Murder The Dance" (CD)

Bleed the Sky - "Murder The Dance" CD cover image

"Murder The Dance" track listing:

1. Knife Fight in a Phone Booth (3:40)
2. Sullivan (3:53)
3. Murder the Dance (4:15)
4. The Sleeping Beauty (4:25)
5. Morose (5:27)
6. Occam's Razor (4:04)
7. Bastion (4:13)
8. Slavior (4:39)
9. Kettle Black (3:22)
10. Poseidon (4:20)
11. The Demons That Could Be (3:48)
12. Vertical Smile (17:34)

Reviewed by on July 28, 2008

"Much like the band’s musical career itself, “Murder the Dance” has got its share of ups and downs."

A band of lofty highs and soul crushing lows, metalcore maestros Bleed The Sky went through hell and back to unleash their sophomore effort “Murder the Dance” on the metal world. Seemingly destined for great things after a high profile startup opening for the legendary band Opeth a mere two months after forming, Bleed The Sky has since had an entire trailer full of equipment stolen, seen the arrival and departure of six different members, leaving their vocalist and drummer as the only remaining original members, and persevered through numerous production delays. Any of these problems could have easily crushed the band beneath the heel of adversity, but Bleed The Sky has continued on. Much like the band’s musical career itself, “Murder the Dance” has got its share of ups and downs.

With only a few minor exceptions, every song on the album follows the same basic premise of thick repeating guitar riffs being driven by chunky and heavy bass lines. There are little variations thrown into each track to distinguish them from one another, but overall the flow of each song is nearly identical. The songs set themselves apart best when the two guitar players work in opposite directions to create contrast between each other, such as in the track “Sullivan,” when one guitar is busying itself with a bulky recurring rhythm riff while the second guitar goes off on a rapid electronic sounding departure that wouldn’t be all that out of place working as a Children of Bodom guitar solo. “The Sleeping Beauty” presents a similar mechanic while one guitar stays low, heavy, and repetitive while the other plays a more abstract tune that leaves the status quo behind and goes into more experimental territory. Stand out track “Slavior” sets itself apart from the rest of the pack by completely junking the standard song structures of the album and going for a more desperate and frantic sound.

Bleed The Sky utilizes a hardcore style screaming for the harsh vocals, as well as two extra back up clean vocalists. The screams have a good deal of variety, frequently shifting from mid range to high pitch and even has some distortion for a deeper sound that almost approaches the death metal style. The clean vocals help to break up the repetition of the similar song structures, although they may be a little more mainstream sounding than fans of the more extreme forms of metal will be used to, being reminiscent of something that could be heard on a Coheed and Cambria album.

Although most of the album is a lumbering battering ram intent on destroying everything in earshot, there is a brief interlude in the form of the song “Occam’s Razor” which keeps the guitar distortion present but the overall guitar sound gets a lot softer. The song also features exclusively clean vocals and is setup almost like a ballad. To prevent the song from being completely mellow, the ending features a clip from the movie "Ravenous" of two people discussing eating human flesh.

The final track of the album uses the same formula as all the previous songs, but then goes into over ten minutes of silence until a “secret track” starts up, consisting of a voicemail message of an unidentified woman chewing out the band for being disorganized and unprofessional, yelling at them that they will never get anywhere unless they shape up. Once the voicemail ends an odd piano piece is played that breaks down towards the end, giving off a slightly disturbing vibe. While the piano ending is great, the voicemail part seemed very out of place. It’s understandable that the band would want to rub this woman’s nose in the fact that they did achieve commercial success despite her claims to the contrary, but it was rather childish to include a message obviously said in anger and frustration that she never would have considered would possibly be broadcast out to the whole world.

“Murder the Dance” has a lot of great elements that come together to provide a satisfyingly heavy listen, but the constant repetition, overly commercial clean vocals, and questionable secret track prevent Bleed The Sky from achieving the greatness they are capable of.

Highs: Very heavy sound and interesting guitary play between the two guitarists

Lows: Lots of repitition and overly commercial sounding clean vocals

Bottom line: An overall repetitive album, but definitely worth a listen if you are into metalcore

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)